fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million us dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: Rosemay Mark <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 22 May 2021 07:03:33 +0100
Subject: Dear Beneficiary,
I hereby acknowledge the receipt from Minister of Finance for a
probate approval for the delivery of your ATM card package worth sum
of US$2.5 Million US Dollars. As you are probably aware there are
procedures necessary for obtaining probate approval for transfer of
the estate be it funds as a scam victim.
Mr. Mike Adams Courier Officer who is incharge of your delivery of
your ATM card deposited in his care by the Minister of Finance and
sign by Royal Heritage Chambers Benin Republic.Please note that all
necessary arrangements for the smooth delivery of your ATM has been
finalized. We will discuss more in detail when we receive your
response. Please in your response include your telephone number for
easy communication between us.
Contact Courier Officer
Dir incharge Mr. Mike Adams